There has been a noteworthy upsurge in the number of couples seeking to legalize their marriages at Thika Civil registration office, Thika West Assistant County Commissioner (ACC) Charles Murithi has said.
According to Muriithi, more couples were moving to comply with the government directive. Early last month states Attorney General Githu Muigai ordered that all marriages conducted under the African customary law be registered so as to comply with section 96 of the marriage act 2014.
Murithi who has been spearheading the exercise said that civil registration office has been a beehive of activities since the directive was made.
Speaking to press from his office after conducting couples registration ceremony on Wednesday, Muriithi said that they have been receiving quite a number of couples per day with an average of 20 marriages being registered which is a notable increase as compared to other months before the directive.
He noted that quite a number of people have been opting to have a civil wedding rather than a religious wedding citing that religious wedding were too expensive and time consuming.
‘A civil wedding is cost effective as we only charge Kshs.5, 000 for the documentation as compared with religious weddings which need a lot of money to entertain guests who at many times are uninvited. It is also fast and effective,’ said Murithi.
‘Civil marriages are no big difference to the church marriages, we do issue the wedding certificates after the exchange of vows just like in church marriages,’ said Muriithi.
‘There is a notable increase in marriage registration. Since 2015 many couples have walked into our office so as to get their marriage certificates, yesterday only we issued 24 marriage certificates which is quite a number compared to last years,’ he added.
He explained that a couple needs a National Identification Card for them to be allowed to have the civil wedding, a 21 days’ notice is given before the official date.
‘We issue a 21 day notice to the couples with information including photos on our notice board so as to give time to anyone in the public who wishes to stop the legalization of their marriages within the 21 days before we issue the marriage certificate,’ stated Murithi.